THURSDAY, 2nd December 2021

AMES Dabchick Nature Reserve

Paul Müller

December 2, 2021

Photos by AMES Foundation

Photos by AMES Foundation

After playing Blackstories and Werewolves the night before, we allowed ourselves an extra hour of sleep on Thursday. In the morning we didn't have the best weather either, so we didn't go out for a game drive in the morning. Les taught us a lot of interesting information about "African Wildlife" in another lesson. Topics this time were birds, snakes and scorpions. 

On the question from the group, why we need the snakes at all, Les projected that one snake alone eats around 100 mice a year. So without the snakes, we would have a plague of mice. Maybe not quite satisfying for the questioner from the group, who is afraid of snakes, but logical nevertheless. To take away the fear from snakes and bites, Les taught us during a live demonstration, how we should behave with a snake bite and ensured that there are only 7 deadly poisonous snakes of the 148 snake species.


After the lesson we went to the Dung Beetle Bush School. This is the home of Tommy and Taylor, as well as a camp for further APU training. Les gives trainings to other rangers or those who want to become one. We could see the impact we Guardians have with our donation on site: a large part of the tents were paid for by foundation money and the recreation area was also maintained.


After returning to the camp we had lunch before we enjoyed some free time. Even the sports group among us took a break for once as the long night before was still in the bones of the one or other. A part of the group had a siesta in their tents, a few others enjoyed some time at the pool and played some games with a beer or two - American college feeling in the bush. 


In the afternoon we left for an absolute highlight of the trip. We first fed the four crocodiles that have been re-inhabited into the reserve since this year. The crocodiles were bought from AMES donations and then brought into the reserve and thus back into the wild. To an area where there haven’t been crocodiles for over 100 years. 

We went on to the rhino feeding area. This was an incredible experience. Sitting on an open trailer pulled by a tractor, we, the Guardians, along with an APU member drove to the rhinos. We distributed food, also paid for by foundation funds, at various locations and were surrounded by rhinos within hand's reach. We saw the rhinos eating right in front of us and took incredibly great pictures and videos. It was an experience none of us will ever forget.

This feeding takes place twice a day, on the one hand to provide the rhinos with important nutrients, especially in the winter months, on the other hand, and more importantly, to count them daily and know that Dodo, Bertie, Rhini and all the other rhinos are well up.


We set out for a sundowner at our base camp and toasted one last time to the setting sun and the great nature in the reserve. This was followed by a longer ceremony similar to barbecue, but we should not call it that. In southern Africa this is called "braai". After dividing the different working groups, we prepared our dinner together with the staff and then also enjoyed it together. An incredible week in the reserve ended with a few last drinks and great campfire conversations among the Guardians, with conversations to return within the next 2 years.